>  E26 – Let’s Host a Murder Mystery Party
The Roaming Yeti
The Roaming Yeti
E26 - Let's Host a Murder Mystery Party

In today’s episode, I am going in a different direction. I am calling this The Roaming Yeti Tries Something New. I spoke with Charlotte Lehigh and Josh Taylor this week about hosting a Murder Mystery Party. This interview was so fun, and I laughed so much. We had a minor technical hiccup, so please excuse my editing.

Together Josh and Charlotte plot unique crimes for mystery parties and co-host the Agatha Christie Podcast Don’t Drink the Tea. When they aren’t doing that, Josh is usually found reading crime fiction, and Charlotte is an anglophile, mystery novel connoisseur, and bat enthusiast, the creature, not the sports equipment.

Be sure to follow Josh and Charlotte and check out their fun podcast:



Here is a transcript of the podcast. Please keep in mind this was done via AI, so there are typos and mistakes. I tried to catch as much as I can, but it is definitely not perfect.

Beth 0:05
Welcome to the roaming Yeti podcast where we share stories and tips to inspire you to roam your neighborhood and the world. I’m your host and head Yeti Beth Schillaci. In today’s episode, I’m going in a little bit of a different direction. I’m calling this the roaming Yeti tries something new. I spoke with Charlotte Lehigh and Josh Taylor this week about hosting a murder mystery party. This interview was so much fun and I laughed so much.

We did have a minor technical hiccup, so please excuse my editing if you catch it. But let me tell you a little bit about Josh and Charlotte. Together they plot unique crimes for mystery parties, and they also co host the amazing Agatha Christie podcast. Don’t drink the tea. When they’re not doing that. Josh is usually found reading crime fiction and Charlotte is an anglophile mystery novel connoisseur and bat enthusiast. The creature, not the sports equipment. Are you ready? Let’s Rome. Welcome back, everyone to the Roman Yeti podcast. We’re switching things up today. And I’m really excited that Josh and Charlotte from an amazing podcast. So when you’re done listening to this one, go check out their one theirs. Don’t drink the tea. But I’m trying this new thing of roaming Yeti tries something new. And so today we are talking I’m going to call them professional murder mystery party throwers. We’re going to talk about murder mystery parties, because this is something that I have not attended. I have not thrown. But But I feel like it’s time. So I’m going to the experts. I’m not I’m not messing around here. So Charlotte, and Josh, thank you so much for joining us today.

Charlotte 1:57
Thank you. Oh, thanks for having us. And I think it’s probably the first time we’ve ever been called professionals. So thank you for that too.

Beth 2:06
Fair enough. Um, so when did either one of you participate? Not necessarily throw but just participated in your first murder mystery party?

Charlotte 2:18
Yeah, so I vaguely remember attending one at like a resort that was like, it was their Wednesday night event. You know, they they did it every week. And it was a dinner theater type thing. And they had actors, I think from a local theater or local school, something like that.

And, you know, no, no judgment on them judgment on myself. I feel like I was a little nitpicky about it. But I did enjoy it. And I think that what I got the most from it was that, okay, I think this would be really fun to do. But yeah, they did a fine job. I was just, I was just being judgey.

Josh 3:04
I was

still like a kid when I heard about their existence. And the adults were all doing them. And I wanted to get invited, and I wasn’t. Oh, so I plan one in retaliation. And I had one with all my good friends. And it was horrible, because, you know, none of them took murder quite as seriously as it is. But then, years later, when I was a little older than my real first one was my own that I threw with Charlotte. So yeah, my first few were all my own. I hadn’t actually been invited to an awful lot that weren’t my own creation.

Charlotte 3:51
And that was when your your Stanley Kubrick complex started to manifest itself. Yeah. Everything this is not going the way we planned.

Beth 4:09
So what is it about these parties that you love so much?

Josh 4:14
I love either being presented with a puzzle or presenting a puzzle to someone and it’s like, tie of how I feel like you know, our murder mystery novelist must feel like and that’s what we talk about all the time on. Don’t drink the tea, with Agatha Christie’s books, how they must feel to create something like that, but then have people try to figure it out. And you know, you kind of get the satisfaction either way, like if they do figure it out that somebody like can see the breadcrumbs that you played, but also, if they’re surprised you get the satisfaction that you surprise them and it’s great to see people at the party like team together to Do that and see them collaborate, to try to get to the truth. I love that. And it’s the same feeling I get you were just like reading a mystery book. So it’s like doing that, but it’s actually around you in 3d.

Charlotte 5:14
Yeah, I agree it is. It’s something very satisfying about puzzles. And I think all of us, as human beings, we seek out things that we want to solve or decipher, it’s good for us, it’s good for our brain, it’s good for our thinking patterns. And especially to think in a different way lateral thinking. And I think that’s one of the things that it helps you to do. And it’s just, if, if you’re one of those people like like myself, that when you go to a party, you’re not really sure what you’re supposed to do. That’s how I feel it most like gatherings where it’s like, just show up and have fun. That’s very intimidating. Having like, a focus and Okay, so I’m here to do this, is it makes it a little bit easier to socialize.

Beth 6:02
So is it more fun to host or attend?

Charlotte 6:06
Yeah, so definitely, I think that’s a personality thing, as well. Like, not too terribly long ago, but probably longer ago than I think we got to attend to like a library fundraiser that was clew themed. And they did an excellent job with it. It’s a local library, and they hold an event every year, they do a really, really good job. But again, I think my brain was always like, okay, so how did they do this? Or how would we have done it if we were doing it? And so, when you’re doing that, it’s hard to turn it off and just enjoy it? It’s, it’s more of like thinking of it as how, how can we recreate this? Or how can we be inspired by this, but I know that there are many, many people, and we’re so grateful to know so many who are so eager to be our audience for us, that it’s really nice that he’s like, Okay, I want to just immerse myself in solving this.

Josh 7:10
Yeah, like, my, like, I’m a control freak. So like, when, if I’m ever at one, I’m always thinking, Well, I would have done this, or I would have done that. So I guess I have fun attending them. But I just love hosting them. Because I love coming up with the mystery. Like we’ve never have all the ones we’ve done, which I think I counted at least seven or eight that we that we’ve hosted solely us now. And with all those we’ve never done a repeat, we always create it from scratch each time. And that always just gets me so excited. So I feel like if I was ever at somebody else’s, I would be jealous that I didn’t get the history. So that’s why we like to do it. We collaborate with other people to do it. I’m always trying to put it out there and be like, don’t you want to host one? And don’t you want me to help?

Beth 8:07
So do you prefer that someone do want them to be solved? Or you? Or is there a part of you that hopes they can’t solve it?

Josh 8:14
Yeah, that’s a real fine line. It’s like, I always say I want one person to solve it. So nobody goes away being like, Well, that was impossible. But I much more appreciate people being surprised because that’s how I want to be. I want to be surprised when I don’t really want to figure it out. But I always try to figure it out. But you have to have someone solve it. So nobody says you made that impossible.

Beth 8:39
And never want to do it again. Yes.

Charlotte 8:42
Yeah, and another thing that’s really fun, and I’m sure that we’ll talk about this later as it comes up. But one time, I think one year, we gave a prize for best alternate solution. Some guests had come up with a completely different solution that actually fit all of the facts that we had given them. And we were like, Oh, wow, that would have been a really good idea. Let’s give them a prize.

Beth 9:13
That’s, that’s, that would be me. Like I’d plan it. And there’d be like three other ways to solve it that I didn’t pick up and I’m like, Oh,

Josh 9:21
this makes it more fun.

Charlotte 9:23
Just act like you. You knew it be like, thought of that.

Beth 9:29
Great. I just let everyone if you’re if I’m inviting you, then you’re listening. You didn’t hear that part.

Charlotte 9:37
Catch it and post.

Beth 9:41
So you said you’ve done like seven or eight, eight parties. And so you’ve never I guess at least the next question you’ve never repeated and you do your own like, do you have to write your own story like, like, how do you even start like it just seems so overwhelming to me? If you’re going to host one, just sort of what’s that high level? I don’t want to give away the secret sauce. But you know, how do you get started with hosting one?

Charlotte 10:11
Yeah, that is a good question. And we get that a lot also for we also work on designing escape rooms as well. And there’s a lot of people ask the same question like, where do you get all the ideas and when you get started going on that track, what’s harder than coming up with new ideas, is stopping yourself, like stopping the flow of ideas. Once the dam breaks, you kind of just have all these different the Okay, I want to do all of this now. And so that’s why we have to keep having new ones because as soon as one’s finished, like, Wouldn’t it be fun if next year we did this. But I really, I wanted to speak to your episode called Yeti stay off where you were talking about what to do if you had four hours in your hometown. And you said, you love a good seem. And that is exactly the way I feel. So yeah, that’s a really good place to start. If you know, like, Okay, I want this to feel like a Great Gatsby 1920s kind of thing, then you’ve got your starting point, you, you know, good old Google, just look for images. And you’ve got an idea of okay, I like the look of this, or I like the feel of this time period. And so that gives you a direction to go in. And then after that, I think the most important thing is just having good people to bounce your ideas off of and people that are going to be okay with saying, Okay, what about this? What about that, and just building on the ideas that you start with? They just, it’ll go in directions that you never expected. And yeah, lastly, being practical. It’s also a good idea to have a little bit of a budget. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t borrow parties, and that can that can get you in a little bit of trouble. And

Josh 12:05
it also depends on how you want to go about it. Because there are like plenty of companies that they like sell the kits. So they’ll come with like suspect cards, and they’ll give you a plot. And that’s what we’ve always done. We’ve modeled it after that. We just we’re never content with anything that we could buy, like we had to come up with it from scratch. And yeah, that’s how we always started. This one is spy theme, this one Sherlock Holmes, and then it all comes from there. But if you you know, if you don’t feel like, you’re good at coming up with that, that’s why we always have a great team, like Charlotte. And, and, and Barbara who also helps us out, they’ve always been really good with the clues and the decorations. And that’s super important. Because you can come up with with, you know, this really awesome solution. But how are people going to guess it and have the satisfaction of winning all these, solving all these little puzzles. And so it’s always worked for us to have like a little team that are working on it if you do it from scratch, because it’s also cool that you can customize it, knowing who your audience is. And we haven’t mentioned this, but there are multiple ways to do a party because and we’ve done both some, some people they’ll have like, you know, a group of just a little group of people, everybody’s a suspect, everybody’s acting, and they’re all trying to figure it out. But the way that we’ve found that we like it is to have two groups of people. And one group are characters and another group are observers or detectives. And so we have a small cast playing out the characters and the mystery. And they don’t even have to know who did or anything, but they are just serving as so you can visualize what’s happening. And everyone else they don’t have to act, but they come with like a notebook, they ask questions, they look for clues. We didn’t start off that way. But that’s how we’ve got to and that can require more work. But we’ve always found that that’s satisfying for people even that don’t necessarily they want to come but they don’t want to have to perform. Right? So it depends on which way you want to go about it. Those kits are usually designed for just like a group of like, six to 10 people who are all playing but yeah, we we’ve always done a little bit bigger scope.

Beth 14:33
Right. Yeah. And that was one of the things like this is if you have people who don’t want to like how how you enlist people to attend, but it sounds like if you have a group that you know may not want to actor or get into it that it’s better to bring a group in to do that and let everyone else be the detective. Is that Is that what I’m hearing?

Josh 14:57
Yeah, yeah. And I mean, you could We’ve switched it out every time so that different people were actors, whenever we’re doing it with just our friend group, rather than just like public people that are attending. But yeah, some people, they just want to come and be themselves and figure it out. Or if you have somebody that really doesn’t want to act too hard, they could just be a dead body and just lay on the floor.

Charlotte 15:20
No acting skills required. Yeah, everybody’s, everybody’s different. And if you are hosting one, like for fun, and you have a guest list of like, okay, I think these people are going to be really game, like, they’re gonna really enjoy it, then you’ve got, you know, someplace to start that you can feel like, okay, I’ll reach out to this person. I mean, would you be okay, with having one secret, you know, like, one little piece of information that you only you have, and the other people have to try to find it out from you, or if you know that people are going to be a little bit intimidated, and they just want to kind of observe, then yeah, you can take some pressure off of them by just saying, you know, just, you know, just mingle, get to know people.

Beth 16:09
Right? Yeah, I’m, it’s funny. We have, where I live, we’re on a court. And it’s a very, we’ve known each other for 20 some years, and I was like, might actually be the perfect group of people for

Charlotte 16:26

Beth 16:27
So we were thinking about that, and, and I’m, like, you know, do we enlist, then? Some of the kids are high schoolers, and they’re in theater and stuff. So I’m like, do I enlist them to do some of the acting for us or? So it’s,

Charlotte 16:42
that’s a really nice idea. I’m sure that they would appreciate that if they’re already interested, they’ll probably, you know, be, you know, like, Josh was like, nobody’s invited me to one. So I’m just gonna do my own.

Beth 16:57
Yeah, it’s, it’s interesting, because I didn’t know how I didn’t really understand how the dynamic work again, I’ve never been to one. You know, I see businesses and stuff, have them and I’m like, I’m not gonna go where I don’t know people. Like, I’m not. I am not. I will classify myself as a social introvert. I like being around people, especially people I know. But then I need to go recharge like, right, I need to relax. So. But the idea of doing that with people, I have no idea who they are I’ve never met is like, no, that’s not happening. So. So the idea of sort of having a group but then bringing some people in to help. Is is really interesting, I think,

Charlotte 17:42
yeah, for sure. Because you don’t, you know, there’s no expectation, there’s not like, Okay, I have to do this, right. Like, you know, there’s not a hard and fast rule of a way you have to do it, or, like you said, businesses do it. And you know, they’re, you know, they’re expecting to make a profit out of it or something like that. But if you’re wanting to do it socially, and you know, the people that you’re inviting you, you can feel pretty confident and like, well, whatever happens, at least we’re gonna have a good time, right?

Josh 18:12
Yeah, when you’re, when you’re with your friends, it can be as silly as you want it to, because we always we are pretty silly with ours, nothing is too serious or scary. There’s a lot of jokes. And so that’s a lot safer, because you don’t know how somebody will react if if they are stranger, or if they paid for a ticket. And they’re like, What is this?

Beth 18:36
That’s for sure. So you said there are their their kits? And obviously, to hire people, like yourselves to sort of write out and do these things? Are there any other resources, like if you wanted to write your own, that sort of gives you gives you things to just remember to include, or I feel like you guys need to write like a book or something is what I’m getting that?

Charlotte 19:06
Yeah, I’ll get on that. Josh, get started with that, please.

Josh 19:10
I mean, you can always reach out to us. RESOURCE, but yeah, there are there are kids that they can go as detailed. And there are there are other companies not that I want to advertise for them that

Beth 19:21
provide, we’re not advertising for them. Yeah.

Josh 19:26
And you can always, you know, Google how to throw a ministry party. And even for us, a lot of what we have just done is read a lot of mystery. And it gives you because they all kind of you know, especially when you’re reading about people gathered into a house and lights go off or something like that. It gives you a ton of ideas. And it gives you the structure that it kind of can just write itself in your head. You can be as cliche as you want to be. Right.

Charlotte 19:51
Right. Yeah. And my advice is to start with something that you really want or that you really love. So One, one year, it was just like it was a character. It was this, it was this character that Josh had created. And it was like, Okay, we have to build an entire party and entire scenario just around this character. And we that was our starting point, we knew that habeas Dweezil was his name, by the way, we knew that habeas Dweezil had to be the central part of this mystery. And then you can branch out from that. And if something’s just not working, like if you feel like you’re just trying to shoehorn something in that just doesn’t fit. Even if you love it, sometimes it has to be pushed to the side of everything else is clicking. But in general, and Josh, you can say how you feel about this as well. Like, it’s, it’s to have fun, it’s for you to have fun. It’s for your guests to have a good time. So yeah, make sure that you’ve got you know that you’re invested in it. In that way, like, Okay, I really want to solve this little puzzle, like I want it to be a locked mystery, or I really, really want to serve this new recipe that I’ve done a canopy and I want everyone to try it. It’s something as simple as that.

Beth 21:14
Right? And you said that you said to have, it helps to have a budget, like what what things to consider for that budget?

Josh 21:25
Well, I think for us, we, since we have always handcrafted ours, like there is a lot of handheld material that just needs like printed, whether that’s at home or professionally. So that could be like clues, or we always try to make sure people have notebooks, or just even like photographs for reference. And we are always printing so much we always run out of ink. Whenever we have a party on whoever’s printer that we decide to use. And

Charlotte 21:55
we take turns, we take

Josh 21:58
something like that. And then like if you are serving food, thinking about how much if it’s enough. And then if you’re having a theme, like Charles said, like, if you’re doing the 1920s, then you’ll want a lot of things that look like that, whether it’s just stuff from Party City, or if you go thrift shopping, or whatever that is so

Charlotte 22:20
or if you’re like stealing things out of your own home, this will work.

Josh 22:25
You don’t have to spend hardly anything to do it. I mean, you can use your imagination. Or you could say, you know, this mystery is set in 2023 in my apartment, and it probably will still be just as fun. But if you want to have those immersive elements, it’s like a, you know,

Beth 22:45
a big budget.

Josh 22:47
I don’t know that we expect that closely to

Charlotte 22:49
know and again. Yeah, and you’re right. I think the biggest expense is usually food. It’s it’s where the you decide that you want to feed these people or, or if you think that’s the only way that they’ll stay is if they’re getting food.

Beth 23:04
We don’t always feed them. Oh,

Charlotte 23:07
no, but usually that’s definitely a Barbara thing. She’s like, Okay, I’m doing the decorating. I’m doing the food. What kind of food do we need?

Josh 23:16
It does help. Yeah, it keeps the spirits up.

Beth 23:20
Now and that. That’s one of my questions like, for if you’re doing food you do you feed them before? Do you feed them as a reward. They’re sort of finger foods during

Josh 23:31
Yeah, we’ve always done during, and I think that works like especially if you’re having like at dinner theme, like people are gathering for dinner. But also, finger foods too, are great because it keeps it gives you something to do. And again, nobody’s gonna get too grumpy because they’re all eating and staying hydrated.

Charlotte 23:52
Gotta watch out for people getting hangry especially No, no low blood sugar.

Josh 23:58
Yeah, and it kind of just like pads everything out. And it’s also good theming too, because we’ve we’ve incorporated that into a lot of our Mysteries too, like one we had that was like diner themed. And so we feel like oh, what what food would be served at a diner or we had like they were at the setting was a Chinese restaurants and Chinese food or a French restaurant. And I think that like extends the theme in a way that people will always be thrilled with because they can eat it. Right?

Beth 24:27
People love decoration. Let’s see if they can eat their decorations that are so

Charlotte 24:31
great. Yeah, and the nice thing about if you the sweet spot that we’ve kind of found in the past few that we’ve done is like it’ll be the first half let’s say of the event is like introducing the characters, giving your guests the resources that they need to solve it, telling them what they need to do, who they need to talk to, and then letting them mill around and let everybody be in character. are a bit and then having you and maybe there’s you know some snacks at that time. And then when it’s time for like the everybody gets a chance to eat then it also gives the people who are playing a character a chance to take a little bit of a break. I exclude myself in that because I’m never in character, I am the worst ever, because I’ve always just so obsessed with watching everyone else. And we have had some wonderful, wonderful people that use had these amazing hidden talents that we didn’t know about, like just our friends, it’d be like, Hey, do you like, you know, our 22 year old friend? It’s like, do you mind playing like a crazy 90 year old? And she was like, on as she shows up in full costume. Someone had done her makeup. And she was amazing and never broke character the whole night. And you know, I’m just like laughing my head off and having a great time. But yeah, for the professional people, it gives them a chance to take a little bit of a break. Yeah.

Beth 25:57
Suffer that does the dead person get to eat?

Josh 26:02
If they’re there, we the way that we’ve always solved that if there because it’s not always a body. But if there is, if it is a murder mystery, then we usually have the murder as already happened. So that nobody has to be a body. Nobody has to sit out unless they really want to. But nobody has to sit out the party and be really, really bored. And I think that that helps because you also conserve your actors, if you will, can only get like six that you don’t have to waste one on that dead person.

Beth 26:32
Yeah. Yeah, we don’t always. We don’t always actors on that. Yeah. I mean, are there any, I want to say rules? I guess. Are there any expectations to set with with people when they when they attend these?

Charlotte 26:52
I think we have found a few. Like things. There’s like, Okay, that didn’t work, or that didn’t go the way that we expected. And then she’s like, well, what will will not do that the next time? Or we’ll do that differently. But yeah, I know, Josh, you had some thoughts on that? Well, one

Josh 27:09
thing that has worked for us that we’ve discovered, again, this is trial and error is pretty much having an MC and with the way we do the parties where some people are solving some people are acting usually the MC is like a detective role. So for the last several parties, I had a detective named Seamus O’Grady. He is Scottish. But if you want to hear me do the accent, you just have to invite me to your party, right?

Charlotte 27:33
You’re not getting that for free.

Josh 27:37
So that character and can kind of be like, you know, here is it less rules, like there’s no commandments at the beginning. But guidance, really to be like this is how it’s going to be structured. These are the kinds of things you’re going to want to be doing. These are the things that you’re like, because usually people won’t be needing to be told not to, like, you know, do something crazy, like stand on the table or eat the clues. But, you know, usually guidance will help because it helps to know what they’re looking for and having that character who’s kind of neutral and that they’re on the same level, even if they do have an insane customer accent. helps with that. So that everybody it doesn’t feel like it’s rigid, but it feels like I know what I’m doing.

Charlotte 28:23
Right? Yeah. And like some things that we have found just on like a purely practical level, like Josh has mentioned before, like, not having something really central that happens like in the middle of the party. And I’ll let you tell that story. But another thing that’s also really helpful is like the first time first, I think it was only the first time that we did it right Josh? Like we had like fixed clues. Like okay, we hit a clue in a bush, for example, because we yeah, we had it like indoor outdoor, which is nice if if the logistics work out. But you know, but then you’ve got these random things like someone will take the clue from Sid bush, and then carry it around for the rest of the evening. And it’s like, no, no, you have to share that. So yeah, so in that way, like having, like Josh said earlier, if somebody if everyone needs the same clue, then have it fixed, where it cannot move, or make a copy for everyone that’s going to be present the past few that we’ve done, we’ve given everyone like a little kit that might have all of the essential things so everybody’s got a copy, you know, there’s no fighting they don’t get lost, and someone can’t monopolize it or and yeah, so Josh, go ahead and give your other pearls of wisdom.

Josh 29:38
Yeah, that’s it’s not it’s not an industry rule, but it’s always been our rule is no mid party crimes. And it sounds so satisfying. You shut off the lights, lights come on, and there’s a dead body but things can always go wrong. And so I was supposed to die. Mid party. I was the second victim and it was gonna be awesome. I had a little bottle of red food dye in my pocket. Oh, Oh, no ready to go. And so we had a distraction at the party, like a clue was discovered, and everybody went around the corner, they come back, and then I was gonna be dead. So I get into position, but our group was too big, and they never fully went around the corner. So before I could even become dead, they had already turned around and they were all back. And then I was a kid just drop dead here. And so we were like, scrambling in the corner to rewrite the solution at the end of to, like, erase any part of my depth, because it was a lot of work to just try a lot harder to kill a person than you think. So if you’re investigating a crime, and the crime has already happened, nothing can go wrong with that crime. Everything can be observed in pictures or in a scene of a crime. But if you shut off the lights, or if you do, some people can always unintentionally do that. Right. And that’s why I’m still alive to tell the tale which I should not be.

Beth 31:04
That I’m, I love that, like, no crimes in the middle. Good. Goodness, I feel like maybe that should be a command a commandment of murder minorities.

Josh 31:17
Learn from our example.

Beth 31:19
So you talked about sort of that with that group was too big? Is there sort of a magic magic number that you find? works better? And I think people get more enjoyment out of?

Charlotte 31:32
I think it’s a, it does depend on how big you want to go. How? Like, because I don’t know how many we had at that first one. But it was, it was

Josh 31:45
more than we expected.

Charlotte 31:47
Right? And so it was a Yeah, it was a little bit harder to control. We have had some more we had what, like up to 70 people in attendance. And yeah, so that’s a little bit of a commitment. And in that case, you know, you’ve got a you also want to balance it with the amount of people who are participating or your detectives, and how many people are like acting. So yeah, it just, it just depends on you know, when you’re writing down the list of your friends, and you’re like, oh, so and so would love this, so and so would love this. And then after you’ve had the event, it’ll be interesting when they disperse and start telling other people, the people who come up to you and say, Why didn’t you invite me to this, that sounds so fun, then you know, okay, you’re going on the list for the next day. And you’ll find that it grows kind of exponentially if your friend group is like minded, for sure.

Josh 32:43
Yeah, and if you’re doing the parties, where it’s just like the cast of characters just hanging out with each other, I think like, around 10 is a good number to stop, because then you just kind of stepping over it unless you got a really big space. But when you do have the observers, the detectives who come along who are new show, you can have a lot more people and what we usually do whenever it is a number that big, like 50 to 70 years make teams, which I think is a lot more fun for people to they don’t have to do it by themselves. So it could be teams of like two to five, whether they know each other or not whatever they pick. And that’s a good way to divide up if you want to have a lot of people but if it’s just like, you know, intimate at your house, I say like 10, maybe no more than like, 15.

Beth 33:27
That makes sense. And, and you find so if someone’s not attended one before, do you find them sort of apprehensive at first are like how do you do you? How do you break the ice? Or do people that come for years are like they’re ready, they’re, they’re all in?

Josh 33:46
Yeah, there’s like two groups. Some people, they’re just they come there and they’re like, I’m here to solve this. But sometimes it’s like, it’s, you just don’t know what it is. Because it’s is weird. It’s a weird thing to do. I think making sure that you are really relaxed and how you like making it clear that like, you know, this, we’re not expect that we are relaxed and silly. And no one will be feeling like they have to be put on the spot to act like they’re actually in like a mystery movie. And if they get their line wrong, that they’re gonna get fired.

Beth 34:23
I mean, I think the great thing is there’s so many mystery movies now that are just, they’re great because they are so over the top so people don’t have to take it so serious, I guess.

Josh 34:36
Yeah, it should be. I think it always should be fun. And like you should make everybody laugh.

Charlotte 34:42
Right? Yeah. And, and again, you’ll find that with like the people who, who you invite that you can if you’re doing your first one like you kind of know Okay, these are the people that I’m going to feel comfortable with. They’re going to be comfortable with each other and they’re kind of open to whatever happens happens and then if you get if you will You know, if you have a good time and you decide to do another one with more people, then you can feel a little bit more polished. But the biggest thing that I’ve heard from other people is they, they worry about what they’re supposed to wear for what they like that always kind of stresses them out. And also like, in that keeps people from doing them, I think at like businesses and stuff, like you said, Because okay, what’s going to be expected of me? Like, am I going to have to not come up on stage? You know, am I going to have to be front and center and do something perform in some way? And yes, if they kind of No, no, it’s okay. You’re just there to kind of solve it. You can do it at your own pace. It’s just to have fun and solve a puzzle, basically.

Beth 35:42
Gotcha. Yeah, I mean, I was gonna ask about costumes, because my daughter was forcing me to ask about costumes, because she’s in she’s in college for costume design. So she’s like, of course, everyone needs to wear costumes. And I’m like, I don’t, I don’t think they do.

Josh 36:00
I mean, you should I feel like you should never require it. Because, like, Sure, outside, you don’t want anyone to not come because of it. Right. But what we’ve, again done in our way is that everybody dressed up in that circle that was performing and then nobody else was required to, you could come. Like, we would say, here’s the theme. So you can dress in that theme, if you’d like. But yeah, but oftentimes, most people, they were just in casual clothes. And then you’d have the random person who decided that they wanted to just because that was fun for them. But even some of the ones we’ve done recently where we set it in modern day, somebody could act and just be in, you know, jeans, but have something about them that just shows that they are a character. Right. But yeah, I think if you’ve got that skill, if you have a costume designer, you should have some really cool costumes, but don’t scare anybody away.

Beth 36:51

Charlotte 36:52
Yeah, we’ve we’ve done it a couple of different ways that most of our themes have been like for the air quotes, the actors, like the people who are performing a character. It’s mostly things that they could just pull out of their closet and like, okay, like one time it was all right, well, your Euro corrupt banker, can you put out that vie with your costume, or we had one woman who was like a nurse, so you know, she had a white dress, and she made her own little hat. One time we were doing the theme was an art gallery. And it was all black and white. So all of the decorations were black and white. The the lovely, lovely women that we had supporting with the food, the support staff, they had these like little serving costumes, like they had made an apron. They were in black and white and then they made like the trays like the old movie theater girls used to have like they would have the the refreshments like on a tray that the inner strap. And so like they would circulate with that while the party was going on. And that was that was really cool. When we did the diner the theme was like aqua blue, and like a bubblegum pink, like kind of like the 5060s So yeah, that it it depends on what your your guests are going to be up for. But if it’s not required, yeah, they can’t be like, oh, sorry, I don’t have you know, a 1920s flapper dress. I can’t come.

Beth 38:37
You Yeah, that’s what I tried to explain to her. Like, not everyone has that or has the time or the skill to to do that as well.

Charlotte 38:44
But we might be calling on her for our next one to be like, Hey, can you make us legit?

Beth 38:48
Hey, go. Do you guys have like a favorite theme that you? You’ve done? Ooh, whoo.

Josh 38:57
And that’s really hard to pick up it’s like it’s hard to think of it because like I said, we always do goofy but we we to take like the plot seriously. So sometimes it’s like looking back like Man, we were really clever with that one. So sometimes when it was really gelling, like I think my favorite one was the 50s diner that just had like a really cool plot that was very Agatha Christie. And it also like Incorporated, we would tell people information like it was an old radio, old mystery radio dramas that we would try to make and that just That was so fun. And being able to diner food I think that was that was my personal favorite. What about you, Charlotte?

Charlotte 39:46
That one was was was really cute and like a behind the scenes look at that when it just so happened. We had all of our participants, you know that everyone showed up? Because sometimes that happens to somebody can’t come at the last minute and you have to like kind scrambled to get

Josh 40:01
there not the murder?

Charlotte 40:03
Yeah. And then there was some threatening, I think sometimes I’m like, Okay, you’re gonna be here, right? If you don’t show up, you know what this means. But for that one it was, it was. So it was sort of it was it was a wonderful theme. The food was amazing. And the plot was very good. But at least three of the participants were like in severe pain, like we had one person who had a migraine. And we have one person who had just had their wisdom teeth taken out. And somebody else had like a, like a serious injury. And so we were all like, we were taking our painkillers. Everyone was like, I’m here, I showed up. And it was it was it went very, very well. Um, but yeah, that one was it made for some fun things, unexpected things. But I think as far as aesthetically, the black and white one was just, it was gorgeous. And that one came about completely by accident. There was a little art gallery that had popped up in our town, and we’d never, we’d never been in it right, Josh, like, we just went in and said, when this be a fun place for a mystery party, and the curators were really nice about it. And they’re like, well, we only have like one date that we have open that you can do it. And it’s in five weeks. How do you feel about that? And we usually take like, what at least six months to plan? Yeah, yeah. So we were like, it was a rush. And we’re like, okay, so we just snagged it. Because the venue was so perfect. It was just such a neat. It was like a 19th century house. And it was had been turned into like a little art gallery. And I remember us all getting back in the car afterwards. Like, what did we just did?

Beth 41:51
But it turned out very well. So it usually it’s it’s like a I mean, that’s like writing a book. Like that’s a six month process for for you to get into that. So you guys get really detailed then.

Josh 42:04
You can’t like we I don’t want to us to make it sound like it’s harder than it actually is. But you can you can do it quicker. I think we just like we overthink it. And that’s why we we always offer to help our one to help people because we love it so much. But yeah, we get and also because we’re crafting it off, you’re buying a kit, you can do it the next weekend. Right? But yeah, we like having it planned out far in advance because then you can cut like with that art gallery one, we had custom art on every wall, these old black and white photographs and, and a lot of things that come like things you find at yard sales or you just randomly come across and you gather all these things that make it look like you would never would have thought you could come up with some of this stuff when you started. And it can be beautiful when you have that time. But you know, even when you if you have to do it, if you want to do it in a month, you don’t have to go nuts don’t don’t make crazy people think that it’s like

Charlotte 43:05
Right, that’s true. Yeah, it can be at any, any place on the scale that you want it to be. It can be simple and quickly done and still be a lot of fun.

Beth 43:18
Yeah, I mean, I just I kudos to how much character development everything else that goes into it for taking that time. So I I applaud it and I love it. Thank you. Um, well, this information has been so great. Kind of up probably go kit first because I’m a chicken but I’m gonna start somewhere, I guess. But have a few few little pop quiz questions that I pop in here that are totally not related to murder mystery parties. But I’d like to get people’s input on it. Favorite road trips, snack for each of you.

Josh 44:03
I think I have to go with Funyuns because it makes it’s a pain in the butt for everybody else in the car after you eat, but I really liked some fun.

Charlotte 44:14
I was gonna guess Funyuns for you. I was waiting to see that. Yeah. Yeah, that’s such a good question. Because what’s like the one thing when you know you’re gonna be in a car for a long time. It’s like, okay, I cannot live without this. And it’s probably for me, it’s probably something that includes both chocolate and peanut butter. That is, it feels like I’m having a little bit of protein. But it’s just mostly sugar.

Beth 44:45
Fair enough. Do you guys have like a bucket list or Daydream trip that you would love to do?

Charlotte 44:53
Oh, Josh, what a nice question.

Josh 44:57
That yeah, I’ve been it’s I’ve just lost I think because I’ve been pretending like, if I don’t do this, I’m demanding a trip and saying, like, I need to do it now or I’ll die. But they since we do the Agatha Christie podcast, they have an Agatha Christie festival in where we’re at her hometown, and Torquay so in England, and obviously we’ve never I’ve never even been over there. I’ve never been to Europe. And it’s every September. And that is like my dream trip, which is probably not all that exciting. But for super nerds like us. And yeah, we really want to go into it. Probably not this year, even though I keep saying it’s my last chance. Like, I’m trying to blackmail everybody into going, like, it’s my last chance to go. You’re trying to

Charlotte 45:44
blackmail the universe and letting you go this year, but we

Beth 45:51
are the way to manifest it. You do you

Josh 45:57
know, I don’t I don’t manifest my own death before.

Charlotte 46:03
Yeah, and for me, it’s always been just the UK in in general, I’ve got to travel a little bit in the past, not nearly as much as I would like to. But that has been the white whale has been a place I’ve always always wanted to go and have not yet. Got there. And so it just the need to go there grows bigger and bigger every year. So hopefully, if not before, hopefully, next September. Reasonably, maybe we would get to go to Christie files, but you know, yeah, just to just to set foot in, you know, on, you know, the UK would be a huge thing for me. So I look forward to that whenever it gets to happen.

Josh 46:47
We’re still standing

Beth 46:55
and who, who are what is on your travel playlist? So if you’re hitting the road, what are you listening to?

Josh 47:04
I gotta have LEDs up on there. I gotta have Pink Floyd. And I gotta have heart. Those three, the big three, they gotta be playing. I don’t care if everybody else in the car says what is this old stuff? I gotta be playing

Charlotte 47:23
between that and the Funyuns

Josh 47:26

Charlotte 47:31
So lately, every time I’ve been getting into a car, the only thing I want to listen to, and it’s become kind of like a you know, I wonder if I should get help. The only thing that I’ve listened to lately are like swing band swing bands from the 90s. Like, do you guys need to remember this? Maybe Josh does it but like, Yeah, so like, big bag, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and some of those, like, tape five is another one. And it just for some reason. I just lately have been like, that is the only thing that I want to listen to. So thankfully, they they really, really put out a lot of songs. I mean, we’ve all heard the ones that were on the radio in the 90s. Like everyone’s heard Zoot Suit riot and everyone’s heard King of Swing, or Mambo number five, like we’ve all heard those but they they have a wider body of work I’ve been discussing, so I’m really enjoying that. And I think if I was gonna go anywhere past a five minute drive, that’s what I’m going to be listening to.

Beth 48:35
I love like, that’s, that’s an original one. I totally endorse the old school. Old music too. That’s, that’s a Masonic car driven car ride. So thank you guys so much for this information and, and your time and your your expertise. And, you know, I think I’m gonna try it. I’ll let you know.

Charlotte 48:58
Please do. Please do. Yeah. And thank you so much for asking us like, it’s one of those things that you’re you’re always waiting for someone to ask you. So how do you do this? Really? Oh, let me tell you let me tell you.

Josh 49:13
You know, you I have the one I want to talk show playing in my head at all times. Like I’m saying on the couch to Jimmy Fallon. Whatever. We can play it out here.

Beth 49:26
I prepped you for Fallon. It’s good.

Charlotte 49:30
You would never go on Fallon Jaws you would go on Jimmy Kimmel for sure. Whatever. A James. James. No, but this was great for us. Thank you so much for asking us and I’ve enjoyed listening to your other episodes as well. Like, I was listening to the safari one. And I thought I never you start out thinking oh, you know, I could never do that. And then hearing someone’s firsthand experiences like well, maybe I could go on safari. You made it sound fun.

Beth 50:02
If you can survive. Yeah, yeah, that’s always mine. I was like, oh, but no, but thanks, guys, I appreciate your time.

Charlotte 50:10
Phil, thank you so much.

Beth 50:14
Thanks again to Josh and Charlotte for sharing their expertise. I’ll let you know how the party goes. If and when I host one. Be sure to check out their podcast don’t drink the tea and reach out to them if you need help planning your own murder mystery party. And I’m also want to thank you all for listening. I hope these episodes inspire you to get out and roam even in your own neighborhood. Please subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes. And if you like what we’re doing here, please leave a review and a rating also to help support us please head to Yeti to shop to pick up some roaming Yeti merch, talk to you soon and keep roaming.